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Questions Answered by Rafael Pagan-Colon
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: In Puerto Rico, is it considered kidnapping if a married spouse refuses to return to the island with their child?

Address Loiza, PR. I am married & when traveling back to Florida, I chose to leave my husband, he new of the trip to visit my adult son & he purchased our tickets. Due to years of emotional abuse & an irreconcilable relationship. I have our 9yr old daughter with me, she is homeschooled... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 23, 2022

Under normal circumstances, the illegal deprivation of custody is considered a misdemeanor (Article 121 of the Puerto Rico Penal Code); and occurs when a parent is denied the custody of a child. However, it is considered a felony with a fixed jail term of eight (8) years when the minor is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My sister and I are about to purchase land in Puerto Rico. All paper work is good and land is clear with the state and

Town. We want to divide the land and register our parcel separately. How can we accomplish this? Can this transaction happen directly from seller to the two new buyers with each buyer claiming their part of the land? Or does it have to be registered under one person and then be separated? Need... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 20, 2022

The property must be segregated by way of a deed. Although this can be accomplished in the sales deed, you cannot segregate a property without procuring required legal permits beforehand. The quickest, most expedient way I recommend would be for you and your sister purchase the land and register it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father only recognized my apparent sister verbally. Would her participation even

be relevant during the declaration of heirs? Thank you for your reply. Greatly appreciate it.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 6, 2022

The Puerto Rico Civil Code stipulates that a parent may recognize a child by any means; and, should the parent die, his/her heirs may recognize the sibling.

I’m assuming that your late father expressed his recognition of your sister to you. If so, even in the existence of a Will, I would...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: If both myself and (apparent) sister go before the court for the declaration of heirs, we will both be required to show

a birth certificate, but the apparent sister doesn’t have a birth certificate with my father listed as her father nor does she have DNA results to prove a legal relationship. So what can she do to be eligible to receive my father’s inheritance? Can her and I perform a sibling dna test? Will... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 5, 2022

The test results only present a probability of kinship between 2 sisters, especially when related by only one parent. Photo comparison with grandparents and other relatives also help. How and under what circumstances DID your father recognize her as his daughter?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father died in 2021. His known descendant is me (his biological daughter). However, he claimed another young

lady as his daughter too, that I don’t think is biologically his. Will this young lady have to provide proof that she is indeed an offspring of my father’s to inherit a portion of his estate?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 5, 2022

You don’t state what form did your dad’s recognition of your (apparent) sister take. If your dad recognized her as his legal daughter in a Last Will & Testament, she would only need to provide proof of identity. With no Will, you’d both need to go before the court for a Declaration of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My abuelos passed they own 6 acres, an acre to each child how do we claim the forced heir.?

my grandparents left 6 acres 1 to each child. My mother was one of the children she passed away in 2019. I would like to claim her portion how can I do that? there are still 3 living heirs one still lives on the property in the house that is there. And the other is trying to get the property all... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 24, 2022

There are many questions yet to be answered in your request. Did either grandparent leave a will? were declaration of heirs petitions brought before the Puerto Rico courts? were their estates liquidated during your deceased mother's lifetime? Do you have any siblings from your mom? How many... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: I am very soon getting joint custody of my son. I have an opportunity to get specialized training in the states

That will give me a lucrative occupation and more income. It will take a year or so. Can I keep joint custody and have him spend time there with me in the states while IIm getting my degree?Unfortunately will change the agreement on the days and time I keep him as we are proposing. Time is an... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 24, 2022

I'm assuming that your endeavor to procure joint custody is through the Puerto Rico Courts. If so, I advise that you openly let the courts know of your plans to obtain specialized training in the states. I agree that it may impact your schedule for spending time with your child, in the short... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Four friends, two of which are a married couple, own property in Puerto Rico. Would a real estate trust be beneficial?

Upon death of one co-owner, it is deisred that the decedents share(s) pass only to the surviving partners.

This is the primary residence for the majority of co-owners.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 19, 2022

Puerto Rico Civil Code does not allow for donations to be made which may be perjudicial to an heir's share, should the donor die. That being said, a legitimate scenario would be for the two married couples incorporate or establish a commercial society, and transfer the property to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Energy, Oil and Gas for Puerto Rico on
Q: If I sign a lease agreement in Puerto Rico for reusable energy for 25 years and I die does the lease agreement stops?

I want to know if my family are obligated to continue paying my lease agreement if I die in Puerto Rico. Property is not involved. Energy service.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 15, 2022

As a general rule, when a person dies, his/her estate is made up of that person's assets and outstanding obligations (liabilities). As contracts go, usually, the death of one of the subscribing parties terminates the contract. Nevertheless, the lease contract should be revised to determine... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: i need my fathers will from arecibo puerto rico
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 15, 2022

In order to procure your father's will, you first need to procure or provide his death certificate. With the certificate, we request a certification of will from the Office of Notary Inspections. Said certification will identify whether your father was testate upon his death, the will's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: My child will be 21, FT student in Univ .Does he have to fill his own claim to keep receiving child support when 21?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 12, 2022

I'm not clear on what "FT" means. Nevertheless, once your child becomes of legal age at 21, he or she must assume responsibility for requiring what is no longer "child support", but rather support between relatives ("alimentos entre parientes"). Puerto Rico... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: how do I get a copy of my grandfather's will in puerto rico

he died and everyone said he left money for all his grand children, but my mother wont share a copy of the will. People are saying she stole my inheritence.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 25, 2022

I'm assuming that your grandfather died in Puerto Rico and that he granted his Last Will & Testament in Puerto Rico. As such, the first step would be to procure a copy of his death certificate from the Demographics Registry. With the certificate in hand, a request for certification would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: What is the correct jurisdiction for a probate case with a house that is located in Puerto Rico?

I have my stepdad will which was created in 1994. He resided in Florida at that time. He passed away in 2007 in Puerto Rico. He did not have any children on his own. He was married to my mom and she also passed away in 2012. The asset in question is a house located in Puerto Rico. I was told by the... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 21, 2022

Puerto Rico courts have jurisdiction, since your dad left an estate in Puerto Rico. The same holds true for your mom's estate, assuming that the real estate property you write off was jointly acquired by both of your parents. Your dad's will, if you have the original, may be eligible to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can you remove someone from an inherited property that's been living there without paying rent.

The party living there is the son of 1 of the 5 inherited people. They also have a son who is autistic and lives there as well. Will that affect any decision made by a judge in a court of law

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 20, 2022

First off, in an estate where the heirs have been registered as the new owners of the real estate property, the other co-owners may require the heir (or son of the heir) to pay rent to the community. This, however, would be prospective, as of the date on which a formal letter is sent to the party... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Puerto Rico on
Q: Which order to follow & school expenses?

My husband’s original child support order only mentioned he is to pay the basic support amount and that he was to cover 50% of gastos escolares. His most recent modified order includes the basic support plus a supplementary monthly education expense (believes it’s for tutoring) and he is to... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

The answer to both of your questions is "Yes". Your child's father is responsible for paying half of any and all expenses associated to your child's education, including books, materials, clothing, and extracurricular activities.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I'm married and the asset in my name, if i set up a trust for my children to inherit, will my spouse have any rights?

Will my spouse's children from his first marriage have any rights to the asset if placed in a trust?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

After November 28, 2020, a new Puerto Rico Civil Code came into effect. One of the primary changes regarding successions (probate law) has to do with the fact that the spouse is now as much a legal heir as the rest of your children. The Puerto Rico Civil Code also states that a person can donate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Brother is heir of 3 parts of house same brother also purchased land from Municipal can another heir make brother sell

8 heirs, 2 of 8 gave their rights of property to a brother. That brother bought the land the house is on from the Municipal. Can other heirs make brother sell the house and land

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

The Puerto Rico Civil Code states that no co-owner can be forced to remain in a property community. Any one of the remaining 5 heirs with a vested interest in the real estate property may go before the Puerto Rico courts to force a sale of the property, unless the heir with a majority share buys... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: We own land in PR that has not been lived on in 50+ years. We can't find the deed. We need a copy of the deed.

We do not have the lot number or origianl deed, only a copy of the original plan. We're looking to get a copy of the deed and clean up and build on the land.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

In order to procure a detailed history of a real estate property in Puerto Rico, we'd need to identify the real estate in the Property Registry and in the Municipal Income Collections Center ("CRIM", by its Spanish acronym). An initial search may be made based upon who appears... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: How are estate expenses with 5 heirs with different inheritances from the will. Proportional to $ received or equal div?

The will left everything to 1 person, who is deceased, their 3 kids are heirs. The deceased had a brother and sister who were not in will but are being allocated 1/9th each of the estate value (1/3 of 1/3 forced heir dispost). 5 heirs are using 1 attorney and 1 heir has their own. The question is... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

If the deceased left is entire estate to one person who is - I assume - a sibling, I take it to mean that the deceased died without a spouse, without descendants, and without living parents. The way you describe the proposed distribution, it seems that the deceased granted his/her Last Will &... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom wants to gift her PR home to me (her only heir). What tax/other issues should I be aware of?

My mother is a PR resident (I am not), and wants to gift her home to me before she remarries or dies. She also said she may want to still live in the home after she gifts it to me. She said she would gift the title, but still have it enscribed in her name. I want to accept her kind gift, but I am... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

First off, unless your mother donates the property to you by way of a deed the Property Registry would still register the real estate in her name. Once she transfers the property in fee simple to you, it needs to be inscribed in your name by filing a certified copy of the donation deed and of your... Read more »

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